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2001 Ron Paul Chapter 64
24 July 2001
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Congressional Record (Page H4534) Cached
2001 Ron Paul 64:1
Mr. PAUL. Mr. Speaker, there are a number of problems with this move to extend the Iran/ Libya Sanctions Act.
2001 Ron Paul 64:2
First, the underlying Act places way too much authority both to make determinations and to grant waivers, in the hands of the President and the Executive Branch. As such, it is yet another unconstitutional delegation of authority which we ought not extend. Moreover, as the Act applies to Libya, the authority upon which the bill depends is a resolution of the United Nations. So, any member who is concerned with UN power should vote against this extension.
2001 Ron Paul 64:3
Furthermore, the sanctions are being extended from a period of five years to ten years. If the original five year sanction period has not been effective in allaying the fears about these governments why do we believe an extra five years will be effective? In fact, few companies have actually been sanctioned under this Act, and to the best of my knowledge no oil companies have been so sanctioned. Still, the sanctions in the Act are not against these nations but are actually directed at persons engaged in certain business and investments in these countries. There are already Executive Orders making it illegal for US companies to undertake these activities in these sanctioned countries, so this Act applies to companies in other countries, mostly our allied countries, almost all of whom oppose and resent this legislation and have threatened to take the kinds of retaliatory action that could lead to an all out trade war. In fact, the former National Security Advisor Brent Scrowcroft recently pointed out how these sanctions have had a significant adverse impact upon our Turkish allies.
2001 Ron Paul 64:4
Mr. Speaker, I support those portions of this bill designated to prohibit US financing through government vehicles such as the Export-Import Bank. I also have no problem with guarding against sales of military technology which could compromise our national security. Still, on a whole, this bill is just another plank in the failed sanctions regime from which we ought to loosen ourselves.
2001 Ron Paul 64:5
The Bush Administration would prefer this legislation to expire and, failing that, they prefer taking a first step by making the extension last for a shorter period. In this I believe the Administration has taken the correct position. For one thing, there have been moves, particularly in Iran, to liberalize. We harm these attempts by maintaining a sanctions regime.
2001 Ron Paul 64:6
I also have to point out the inconsistency in our policy. Why would we sanction Iran but not Sudan, and why would we sanction Libya but not Syria? I hear claims related to our national security but surely these are made in jest. We subsidize business with the Peoples Republic of China but sanction Europeans from helping to build oil refineries in Iran.
2001 Ron Paul 64:7
There has been a real concern in our country regarding the price of gasoline. Since these sanctions are directly aimed at preventing the development of petroleum resources in these countries, this bill will DIRECTLY RESULT IN AMERICANS HAVING TO PAY A HIGHER PRICE AT THE GASOLINE PUMP. These sanctions HURT AMERICANS. British Petroleum and others have refused to provide significant investment for petroleum extraction in Iran because of the uncertainty this legislation helps to produce. The tiny nation of Qatar has as much petroleum related investment as does Iran since this legislation went into effect. Again, this reduces supply and raises prices at the gas pump.
2001 Ron Paul 64:8
Will the members of this body return to their district and tell voters I just voted to further restrict petroleum supply and keep gas prices high? I doubt that.
2001 Ron Paul 64:9
Mr. Speaker, I am fully aware of the legislative realities as regards this legislation and the powerful interests that want it extended. However, it is not just myself and the Bush Administration suggesting this policy is flawed. The Atlantic Council is a prestigious group cochaired by Lee Hamilton, James Schlesinger and Brent Scowcroft that has suggested in a recent study that we ought to end sanctions upon Iran.
2001 Ron Paul 64:10
Mr. Speaker, I believe the time has come for us to consider the U.S. interest and the benefits of friendly commerce with all nations. We are particularly ill-advised in passing this legislation and hamstringing the new Administration at this time. I must oppose any attempt to extend this Act and support any amendment that would reduce the sanction period it contemplates.